In a move that strikes hardcore Kickboxing fans with a bit of a shock, K-1 has decided to move away from the tournament format that they’ve utilized for their 20 years in operation now. K-1 began in 1993 with the K-1 World Grand Prix tournament and since then has run at least one tournament a year to crown a champion at Heavyweight. Starting in 2002 they introduced 70kg MAX tournaments into the mix as well, led by Japanese star Masato.
An interview that I conducted late last week with K-1’s Ned Kuruc details the whole concept of what K-1 will look like moving forward, with it not being too different from modern UFC. [link] The idea of crowning champions in every weight class and having those champions defend it is a more “modern” approach to combat sports which might be able to bear fruit for the organization who has struggled a bit with their identity since the fracture caused by the formation of GLORY in 2012.